A new $42-million investment for the Delaware River Watershed Initiative (DRWI) is a big deal—the DRWI is among the country’s largest efforts to protect and restore clean water. It’s fitting that media is responding in a big way to the news. Below is a snapshot of media coverage, much of it focused on how DRWI partners, rooted in local communities, are collaborating to achieve results.
“Forests play an important role in keeping water clean. If you lose the forests at the top of the system, you lose everything downstream. We’re trying to keep them intact, so the water stays clean,” Peter Howell of Open Space Institute said in the Philadelphia Inquirer.
“If we can preserve streams like this, we have a natural water treatment system,” Lamonte Garber of Stroud Water Research Center said in the Reading Eagle
“The 65 groups have preserved 30,000 acres of land, and they’ve restored 8,000 acres of land in very targeted places in the watershed. And we’re seeing improved water quality in places where those projects actually occur,” Andrew Johnson of William Penn Foundation told NJTV
“We believe this is the largest private investments in fresh water conservation in the country, and that, furthermore, the unique approach here serves as a new model for conservation of watersheds nationally,” Janet Haas of William Penn Foundation told KYW News.
“Local action underpins the program because it is seen as a more effective response to major threats to water quality like ‘nonpoint’ source pollution — such as runoff from parking lots — than government regulation,” reported NJ Spotlight.
“At a time when the federal government is redefining its role in environmental protection, leadership by public agencies and non-governmental organizations at the state and local levels is more important than ever to keep our water clean,” reported the News Eagle.
“In the Delaware River watershed, about half of the pollution in the system’s waterways is the result of nonpoint source pollution from myriad places, and therefore inherently difficult to address through regulation alone. Rapid population growth and resulting urban and suburban sprawl are driving significant impacts by shrinking and fragmenting forests that are critical to protecting clean water. Runoff from paved surfaces and agricultural fields carry pesticides, chemicals and other toxins into streams and rivers,” wrote the River Reporter.
“Threats to the Delaware River basin are significant, demanding a concerted response from private landowners and local officials to protect our natural resources… These growing problems will threaten drinking water for millions of people every day if left unaddressed,” wrote the Chester County Daily Local.
“It’s essential to improve water quality in the Delaware River Watershed because it’s the only source of drinking water for Northern Delaware residents and the foundation of Northern Delaware’s economy,” reported WDDE Delaware Public Radio
Featured image of French Creek State Park courtesy iamdusky on Flickr, under Creative Commons license